Fight the Bite
Avoiding mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting diseases that mosquitoes may carry.
Three simple steps can help keep you, your family and friends healthy and enjoying the outdoors!
Prevent Mosquito Bites
The best defense is to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Use Insect Repellant
Apply on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picardin, or oil of lemon
eucalyptus. Always read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.
Wear Long-sleeves and Pants
When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes
with repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection.
Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin.
Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
Fight the Bite Day and Night
Dusk and dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. But mosquitoes
can bite at any time. Use repellent and protective clothing whenever you spend time outside, even if it's not evening and early morning.
Install or Repair Screens
Even if it looks small, fix any rips or tears in screens on windows and doors. Make sure screens fit so mosquitoes don't get in between gaps.
Drain Standing Water
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers near your home. Drill holes
in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when not in use.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding
Learning how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding can go a long way towards reducing the impact of mosquitoes on your standard of living. Water is
needed for every stage of the mosquito breeding process. If you deprive the mosquitoes of water, they will be unable to breed.
- Empty, drain, or cover all things that can and may hold water. Areas of your backyard or porch may have spots where rainwater can pool. Barrels
and trash cans tend to collect rainwater extremely well. Old tires, empty bottles, buckets, and other small containers can condense water vapor
into tiny pools. Empty and drain all pools of water and cover them up to prevent more water from gathering.
- Maintain decorative ponds and ensure swimming pools are operating properly. If you have a small plastic pool meant to be used temporarily, make
sure you drain all of the water and store it indoors when it's not in use. If you have a backyard swimming pool, monitor the chlorine levels, and
keep the pool clean and the water circulating.
- Repair or prevent outside leaks. Plumbing that runs outside can be affected by exposure to the weather, resulting in minor leaks. Window air
conditioners often drip condensation, which can pool on the ground. Dripping outdoor faucets also pool on the ground. Repair these problems
to minimize water collection as much as possible.
- Change water collection pans for plant pots weekly. When you water your plants, the excess water will run through the soil and collect in a
pan. If you have any outdoor plants, these collection pans are a prime location for mosquitoes to breed. Empty and clean the pans at least
once a week; more frequently is better.
- Clean bird baths weekly. If you have a bird bath outside your house, the stagnant water is a great place for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Minimize
mosquitoes breeding there by changing the water and scrubbing down the bath at least once a week; more frequently is better.
- Mow your lawn weekly. Mosquitoes aren't likely to lay eggs in tall grass, but they tend to sit in tall grass for rest and hiding. Keep your
grass as short as possible.
- Eliminate or fill nooks, crannies, and holes. If you have a patio or a porch, there may be small crevices and openings that can harbor mosquitoes
and their eggs. Trees on your lawn may have holes in their trunks where mosquitoes can rest and breed. If you can't eliminate the holes, consider
filling them with sand.
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